California Attorney General’s Office Asks Schrock for MoviePass Help

  • Comments: 6
  • Written on: July 19th, 2006

I received a call today from a Deputy Attorney General with the California Attorney General’s office regarding MoviePass and their MediaPipe software.

Last week I tracked down the individuals who own the corporations responsible for MoviePass, MovieLand and MediaPipe and published it on the Schrock Innovations website.

As you can imagine, there is a great deal of interest in locating the individual responsible for the annoying “Pay Now or Else” pop-ups that follow a 3-day free trial of the MediaPipe software. Evidently, the CA Attorney general’s office has received complaints about this software and they were interested about how we tracked the owner down and if it would “hold up in court.”

I spent about 30 minutes on the phone explaining how I traced their multi-layered corporations through the CA Secretary of State’s website to find their names. After the conversation, the Deputy AG I was speaking with said that he was going to drive by the addresses we provided and investigate any criminal or consumer cases that could be brought. If you are unaware of what MoviePass is, is a website that advertises video content that it delivers to your desktop via its MediaPipe software for a monthly fee. They offer a free 3-day trial of their service, which many people have downloaded and installed.

In the terms of service (which almost no one reads) it explains that if you do not cancel your service before the 3-day trial expires, you will be required to pay MoviePass a monthly fee for the service.

Needless to say, many people installed the software and forgot about it – that is until it MoviePass started reminding them.

The “reminder” was actually a pop up window that continually appears on the user’s screen demanding payment. Supposedly, the only way to remove the pop up is to pay them what they say is due. While the MoviePass Terms of Service appear to cover them from any criminal charges (although I am not a lawyer and do not claim to be) California has many consumer protection laws against deceptive trade practices.

The California Attorney General’s office said they plan to “look into” any laws that may have been violated by the MoviePass ( also known as MovieLand) business model.

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